Latest News – October 2

October Snowstorm Sees Power Outages

Fore Bay _Rogowski

While southern Lake County saw some measurable snow, they were spared the Xcel Energy power outage. The seasons seemed to have turned the page in this picture of Forebay above Twin Lakes, too early! Photo: Leadville Today/ Jennifer B. Rogowski

**UPDATE**  @ 1:30 p.m.

Another early-season snowstorm swept through Lake County in the early morning hours of the second day in October, knocking out power to all of northern Lake County. Reports indicate that some Leadville residents were “in the dark” for more than 12 hours as temperatures slowly climbed above freezing.

Current status indicate power has been restored to all of Leadville and Lake County. Xcel officials stated the outage included most of Summit County, while other reports cast the net a bit farther, to the regional level. 

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Power outages along with a strong early season SNOW storm had local law enforcement directing traffic through the morning commute in downtown Leadville Today. At Noon the power was restored and it was back to business as usual except for all the shoveling and broken branch removal!

While September’s snow saw a measurable 1 – 2 inches in town, this early October storm really packed a punch dropping 6 – 8 inches of heavy, moisture laden snow. Not good news for mature trees many of which still had their golden leaves, now acting as a basket  to collect the heavy snow, bringing down branches all around Leadville Today.

Lake County Public Roads crews got out early to clear main thoroughfares for early-morning commuter traffic and school buses. Local law enforcement was on top of traffic control, instituting the standard four-way stop at the two intersections in the county that actually have stop lights. The school district’s maintenance crews were ready on their end, allowing Leadville schools to remain on schedule.

Things didn’t look so seamless on the other side of pass, where Interstate 70 was closed between Vail and Copper Mountain for a time due to accidents and vehicles sliding off the icy road.  An estimated 14 inches of snow was measured at the Vail Pass rest area as of Monday morning. Meanwhile, officials in Summit County also canceled school for the day.

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The mobile food trucks on the corner of 4th and Harrison saw some good crowds for a Monday morning during the nearly 12 hour power outage in Leadville Today.

Of course, the ski resort couldn’t be happier, and that includes Ski Cooper whose season pass price went up on October 1, perhaps a cue for the snow to arrive?! While most Leadville businesses were closed on historic Harrison Avenue during the power outage, the corner at 4th Street couldn’t have been busier. Why? Because that’s where the two mobile food trucks are located – and they can operate without electricity. Thanks for keeping the crowds fed!

So that wraps things up for a Monday morning in Leadville Today. The power has resumed with no official word from Xcel about what happened.

Stay aware – more adverse weather in tonight’s forecast!forecast

** EARLIER REPORT @ 6 a.m. **

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According to local officials approximately 1300 Lake County residents have been without power since midnight, with other experiencing intermittent outages throughout the early morning hours.

And yes, the “unofficial” 6 – 8 inches of heavy wet October snow could be partially to blame. Downed tree branches have knocked out power in some neighborhoods, as many still had their golden leaves of fall when Old Man Winter threw a wet blanket on autumn.

While some residents are still dealing with outages, all Lake County School District schools are in session in Leadville Today! 

“We have power and heat at all schools,” said Lake County School District’s Kate Bartlett in a report to Leadville Today this morning. “Our maintenance team has been preparing driveways and sidewalks, so we are good to go for school today!”


As for the roads, Lake County Public Works Director Brad Palmer reported this morning that crews have been out clearing the main thoroughfares, making things passable for commuters and the school buses to get around safely. 

“We are only clearing paved roads,” stated Palmer. “No gravel roads will be plowed.”

A quick tally of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s area web cams and it appears that the storm was pretty wide spread. Interstate-70 was a virtual parking lot yesterday afternoon as the normal Sunday traffic returning to the city turned into a snarled mess of traffic accidents and road closures. 

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the morning as Leadville Today gathers the information you need to know to get you week started off right! 


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